Initiating Inquiry: Mindmapping and Fishbowl Discussions for Connecting and Building Background Knowledge
Susan Lester’s 10th Honors World Literature/Composition students recently began a novel study of All Quiet on the Western Front. Since students knew little about World War I, we gave students the opportunity to choose a World War I topic of interest to them ( a menu was provided but students could come up with their own topics, too) to research. Susan and I decided to help students dwell in the connecting stage of inquiry by having students mindmap their research and then share those findings in a Fishbowl discussion group. Using mindmaps that Howard Rheingold’s students created and published as our models, we gave students the choice for the tools and mediums they wanted to use to mindmap the key ideas and findings of their research on their topic. Most preferred creating their mindmaps with concrete materials like paper and ink, but others like using Word or Bubbl.us.
I found this case study extremely informative on using Mind Maps to learn. Pay particular attention to the discussion groups, the reasons why the Mind Maps did not work so wel,l and the actions taken to rectify the situation.